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Warren County sheriff says deputy didn't rape inmate

A Warren County sheriff sat down yesterday to talk to News 12 about one of his deputies accused of sexually assaulting an inmate.

Deputy Dewayne Wood faces allegations he sexually assaulted the inmate on the way to jail.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says after weeks of collecting evidence, they're finally ready to turn the case over to the district attorney's office.

But Sheriff Joe Peebles tells us there is no indication Deputy Wood did anything wrong.

"The GBI did the investigation, they did not charge anybody," he said. "There were no findings, and there was no disciplinary action taken against Deputy Wood."

"The basic allegation is while transporting her from the courthouse to the jail, that the deputy stopped and sexually assaulted her in a remote area," said Agent Gary Nicholson of the GBI.

Sheriff Peebles says Deputy Wood was on paid leave for 7 days immediately following the incident, and now he's working since he doesn't face any charges.

Deputy Wood could be indicted when the grand jury meets in January.

Weekend shooting gang-related, deputies say

Deputies say gangs are likely responsible for a weekend shooting in south Augusta.

Suspects in a blue Buick and a man on foot were spotted shooting at each other early Sunday morning in the parking lot of a Waffle House.

Shortly after that incident, another drive-by was reported in the Barton Village neighborhood at a house investigators say has been notorious for gang activity.

Officials think the two shootings are related.

Later, the same blue Buick was found up in flames in a nearby vacant lot, destroying evidence that could trace them back to the crime.

Investigators say it's all a part of growing gang problem in Augusta.

Mayoral candidates attend Q&A session

November's general election is six weeks away, but the heat is on for Augusta's mayoral candidates to win votes.

Incumbent Deke Copenhaver, Ronnie Few, William "Gil" Gilyard and Stephen Kendrick were present for a Q&A session with voters last night.

Voters were allowed to ask the candidates questions for more than 90 minutes.

Candidates gave their solutions for the city's pressing issues and problems in the community. One of the biggest issues and growing problems were gangs in Augusta.

"We can stop and prevent the crime before we have to use law enforcement to correct the crime," Kendrick said. "We have to get involved as a community."

"The gangs are outgunning the cops, and so we have got to bring more revenue to help fight this issue," Copenhaver said.

"Throwing personnel at people is not the way to deter crime," said Few. "It's good programs that deter crimes in a city."

Gilyard left early and was not on hand to give his solution to Augusta's crime problem.

Coming Up

The Board of Education and other companies were supposed to support other downtown businesses.

Wednesday, we'll have the Buzz on the latest biz needing a coffee jolt. That's on News 12 This Morning starting at 5:30 a.m.

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